Jan 31, 2018

The Templars gradually became the most popular oi band on the planet, forming in the early 1990s, releasing a ton of records over the years, and playing shows all over the world. Oi detractors think that oi is a monotonous musical form, but The Templars have a distinct, lo-fi sound that is all their own. Further defying skinhead stereotypes, the core members are a physician and an academic. Despite usually being a three-piece or four-piece band at shows, they’ve traditionally been a two-piece when recording. On Deus Vult, though, they’re a four-piece, which distinguishes this new record from much of their recorded catalog. “Middle Road” is my favorite track, with a catchy chorus that can’t be beat. I also appreciate the fact that there’s a non-metal band obsessed with horror iconography. Not surprisingly, they’re especially into the Amando de Ossorio Knights Templar-themed films. Awesomely packaged on color vinyl with a version with a faux leather cover available for collectors, this LP isn’t all gloss. It sounds fantastic, too. While there have been 7”s and splits in between, Deus Vult is the first full-length from The Templars in over a decade. Highly recommended, and not only to fans of oi, The Templars are one of the best live bands in the history of punk. Their recordings are also essential. Deus Vult is easily one of my favorite records of 2017. It’s not to be missed. –Art Ettinger (Pirates Press)